Liliacea flowers in Techobanine region

Flora 2nd most Biodiverse in Africa

Ponta do Ouro is well know for Scuba diving, whales, dolphins and pristine beaches not forgetting the late night party festivities. There is however more to Ponta than this and and important issue why I have spent the majority of the past 24 months being a gypsy in this region. The one major issues that many people overlook is the biodiversity of the life on land here from the bird life to butterflies, lizards, sand forests, ghosts crabs, frogs etc. you name it!

Praying Mantis

Close and personal with Praying Mantis

What’s more is this biodiversity is around where ever you are in Ponta and especially noticeable if you are camping in the main Tandje campsite. Here you have opportunities to photograph, as I have, awesome colorful Tree Agama that run around catching insects to Lizard Buzzards who they have to keep an eye out for as they dart between trees. The leaves of the Mahogony trees in the campsite are great places for the butterflies to lay eggs, to go through metamorphis and continue the cycle offering you fantastic opportunities to photograph, so do not forget your cameras when planning a trip here.

There are various venues that are great for viewing birds, Somango monkeys, lizards once more like at Mango restaurant above the camp site while you enjoy a healthy wrap or a sundowner after a active day on the glorious sunny beaches here. In fact I have photographed birds all over the region where there are trees especially Mango, Paw Paw and indigenous trees flowering further south to the bush campsite Phambuka…. to the houses you can rent on the dunes in the north all the way to Malongane… Techobanine. The more further to the interior you go the more it improves offerings you opportunities to view wildlife such as Hippo, Crocodiles, Elephant and Fish Eagles to name a few major species. This area is very similar to Cape Vidal and forms part of the Elephant coast Ecosystem with it’s southern border being St Lucia, a wetland system with an incredible amount of biodiversity that you will find in very few places in the world. The Special Maputo Elephant reserve is being united with two other reserves within this system, namely Tembe and Ndumo, which are extremely worthwhile visiting ( blogs to follow). The Elephants in Tembe will be able to unite with the ones in the Maputo Elephant reserve, which they have probably been commuting with since they were separated many years ago when war broke out in Mozambique as they are able to communicate over 70 kilometers.

The war in Mozambique was probably a blessing in disguise for the biodiversity in the region, unfortunately not for any mammals but this should soon be resolved and numbers should soon increase with the reintroduction of species in the Maputo Elephant reserve and the Futi corridor, which will unite the two reserves bringing the big five to the region. Ponta do Ouro will be a small island on the coast outside of this reserve where you can continue to scuba dive on pristine biodiverse reefs, with ubundant fish life, Whales, Mantas, Whale Sharks, Zambezi Sharks, Dolphin etc. making it one of the most destinations to head to where I’m one day you can view the oceans abundance then the big five on land in the afternoon! I certainly do not know many regions where one can do this… even Sodwana cannot compete including St Lucia/Cape Vidal!

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It is so important to preserve this heritage, one of the few remaining biodiverse regions in the world that when the Mozambique government decided to announce a deep water harbour development in Techobanine, 20kilometers north of Ponta resulted in a major outcry from conservationists around the world especially when there is a process in place to make it a World Heritage site. This is still a threat so please join us by signing the petition on http://www.aquaterramovement.org

There are great sporting activities as well besides scuba diving and fishing being Surfing( January to July) and Kite boarding(August to November) actually most times of year but these are consistently good as specified. Check the website out for more information http://www.pontinfo.com then like their Facebook page to be kept up to date with events in the region http://www.facebook.com/PontInfo

Overall ARL (African Rhythm Lifestyle) rating : 47/50 *****

This is by far the top of the range ARP lifestyle regions we recommend for the following reasons : Social 5 (There is so much to do here with friends from sports events to having fun to the early hours of the morning); Family 5 ( Ponta is very safe so you do not need to worry about kids , the sea is very calm in the bay for swimming snorkeling etc.) ; Financial : 5 (Can be expensive if you eat out and embibe a lot so rather purchase your own goods and camp, which is why I have given it a 5 rating. If you stay in self catering and other options can be pricy! ) ; Spiritual 5 ( plenty of time to spend on your own playing music, meditating, healing with no distractions) ; Health 5 ( There is so much to do here from walks along the pristine beach to Malongane or around the point to the SA border and of course scuba, surfing etc.) ; Intellectual 5 ( if you take an interest in nature the biodiversity of nature here is very high and there are various companies like Dolphin Encounters( see Ponta Info website above) that offer volunteer courses); Accommodation 4 ( campsite clean, ablutions not so great, has electricity -1); Eco Footprint 3 ( not easy to get to -1 fuel; electricity -1).

Fore more information on rating system see our website : African Rhythm go to : http://www.africanrhythm.biz